Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A Good-Old Fashioned Book-Burning

Protests, sometimes violent protests, a guy almost beheaded here and there... Almost an everyday occurrence these days. All because somebody gets offended.

So there's this church in Florida that's going to burn copies of the Koran.

First off, what good is that going to do? It's not illegal, I don't think, but still. Kind of a waste of energy, don't you think?

Well, apparently, Afghans found out about it somehow, and they're not happy:

Hundreds of Afghans protested Monday in Kabul over the decision by the Gainesville, Fla.-based Dove World Outreach Center to burn copies of what Muslims consider the word of God.

Petraeus said he's concerned that the protests could spread across the country.

"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan. It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community," Petraeus said in a statement provided to Fox News.

Though Dove World Outreach Center has been denied a permit to hold a bonfire, the Koran burning is still scheduled to proceed on Saturday. The burning -- set to mark nine years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- follows a campaign last year in which the church distributed T-shirts that said "Islam is of the Devil."

In a blog on the church's website, writer Fran Ingram offered the groups’ reasoning for burning the Koran, arguing that it is not God's word and denies Jesus is the son of God, that Islam is totalitarian and that the religion teaches idolatry, paganism, rites and rituals.

"We are using this act to warn about the teaching and ideology of Islam, which we do hate as it is hateful. We do not hate any people, however. We love, as God loves, all the people in the world and we want them to come to a knowledge of the truth," the blog reads.

Other writings by the same blogger include headlines like "Islam is Cursed by Cursing Israel" and "The Koran: A Sorcerer's Scroll."

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul issued a statement condemning the church's plans, saying Washington was "deeply concerned about deliberate attempts to offend members of religious or ethnic groups."

But outside the U.S. Embassy, where as many as 500 protestors chanted "Long live Islam" and "Death to America," demonstrators argued that the church isn't acting of its own will.

"We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States," said Abdul Shakoor, an 18-year-old high school student who said he joined the protest after hearing neighborhood gossip about the Koran burning.

Burning a Koran is considered by Muslims among the most offensive actions taken against Islam. In 2005, 15 people died and scores were wounded in riots in Afghanistan sparked by a story in Newsweek magazine alleging that interrogators at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay placed copies of the Koran in washrooms and had flushed one down the toilet to get inmates to talk. Newsweek later retracted the story.

Yeah, looks like Obama's outreach to the Muslim world is going really well. He's made great strides. So great that these people think this is the policy of the entire United States right off the bat.

Setting all else aside, let me just talk to this church for a moment.

If nothing else, think of the troops. People could get killed because of this, and what will you have accomplished?

I haven't looked into the church, but this whole incident reminded me of this clip:

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